"Poetry, Damaged Life, and One Poem by Agha Shahid Ali"
Holocaust Genocide & Mass Violence Studies Workshop (HGMV)
Thursday, October 3
Room 710 Social Sciences
Courtney Gildersleeve is a PhD Student and Teaching Assistant in the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature. Working broadly in the field of Post-Colonial Studies, and with a commitment to the tradition of historical materialism, she examines the ways that literature and especially poetry has played a role in anti-colonial struggle and continually seeks to reckon with the long history of colonialism and violence that has shaped the modern world. Although her work is decidedly comparative, her dissertation research foregrounds the history, literature, and anti-colonial thought of the Caribbean.
While focusing primarily on writers from Cuba, Martinique, and Haiti, she studies texts that emerged from or in response to the Transatlantic slave trade, those that address the labor of African peoples in the Americas, and those that grapple with the continuing cost of 'intervention' by many other nations in the Caribbean. In addition to the presentation she will give at the HGMV workshop, which parts ways with this historical context, this semester she is also working on a project that offers a critical perspective on recent efforts--particularly in the former slave-trading city of Bordeaux--to memorialize the leader of the Haitian Revolution, Toussaint Louverture, and the struggles of that revolution.